Dreams, Toxic “Friends” & Facebook Freedom!

What DreamsWhat Dreams May Come

I love this image so!

The first time I saw the 1998 film What Dreams May Come I didn’t connect with it although it starred some actors I adored including Robin Williams, Annabella Sciorra and Cuba Gooding Jr. Then, many years later, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and my beloved father died.  Those two momentous events were responsible for my change of heart regarding this film. After I gave What Dreams May Come a second chance, I fell head-over-heels in love with the story (which concerns mental illness, death and the afterlife), the acting, and its magical, state-of-the-art “painterly” special effects which won an Academy Award.

It was directed by the acclaimed New Zealander Vincent Ward. Some of you know I have a New Zealand obsession, so I appreciated having him at the helm.

I’ve cried every time I’ve seen What Dreams May Come since my 2nd viewing, and despite its triggering subject matter (depression/mental hospitalization/suicide) the movie gives me hope!

I love the image of a joyful Annabella Sciorra shaking off a crimson cloth in Switzerland. The scene plays a special role in the film, and thinking of it evokes a sense of wild abandon in me…of freedom from life’s worries, i.e.

Freedom from stupid-ass Facebook rejections!

Last Friday I published my post about how I felt being unfriended on Facebook in a very unfriendly fashion. I felt SO good after receiving such great feedback from followers. (Thank you!!!) I let that Facebook incident go for the most part, and I only thought of it a little bit. I carried on. With two young girls, a husband, two hyper Houdini-hamsters, and Miss Lucy the Canine Wonder (and tapering off Seroquel – more on that in my next post) I had enough on my plate…

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. It’s not my favorite day – it feels like a contrived holiday, unlike the best holiday of the year: Halloween. 😉 Through a serendiptous series of events I found out I had been unfriended on Facebook AGAIN!  But instead of the Unfriender living thousands of miles away from me, this time I was unfriended by a neighbor living one mile away. I had always been kind to her, just as I had behaved with the fellow I wrote about last week.  

Long story short: my unfriendly neighbor has clinical depression, trauma, and some deep-seated personality disorders. Her unfriending me had much more to do with her issues than to do with who I was as a person, or with anything I had done. Despite my knowing all that, something in me snapped harder than it did last week.

Once again I thought,

F*CK THIS SH*T!!!!

One can’t get through life without rejection. We all know that. As much as I’ve loved using Facebook, yesterday it was clear it had become a channel for weird, toxic rejection. Two unfriendings in one week, even if they were not bosom buddies, was too much for this ultra-sensitive soul. Plus I have a book I need to focus on completing, which is all the more reason for me take a Facebook vacation. 

Last night I knew what I needed to do. I took a paltry thirty seconds and deactivated my Facebook account. It was a bittersweet moment, but it felt very empowering as well. I’m not sure how long this break will be, but I already feel more free! I have more time to write. It just feels healthy all around.

At least now there’s one less way for me to be triggered by those who don’t want me in their lives. As my seven-year-old girl told me while we played SmashBall last night, “They’re missing out on a opportunity, Mommy! You’re wonderful! I love you!” 

I love that kid.

Here’s the trailer of  What Dreams May Come – I can’t resist including it here after my glowing plug!

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29 thoughts on “Dreams, Toxic “Friends” & Facebook Freedom!

  1. I am so glad it wasn’t me, as when I saw you were gone felt very sad – and in my ‘taking things to personally in general’ personality-type was worried I was being rejected for some reason, that you had just un-friended me! Not closed the whole account.

    Then I realized that was probably silly, and I could check in on your blog when I had time to read the full scoop. You are missed, and to give you some support I was recently bashed publically on a BP group (by a guy who befriended me, was going to do an interview, took much time in telling me his story through ‘message voice mails’ on FB (first time I’d gotten any of those), etc.

    He then one evening as I slept posted a nasty post on a nice group that had been really supportive with about 30 people (was an awesome thread LOL) wanting to read my book and sign-up for a free copy, etc. etc. A nasty post that I was writing about the group, going to make money off of them blah blah. It cleared quickly (as the guy had verbally abused other women) but then it’s like the sicko trolls came out of the woodwork and someone put a little graphic on a thread that said (will not repeat) something very offensive and threatening violence.

    Seriously – you are missing very little except it is nice to connect when it is positive and supporting – I personally enjoy face to face contact much better but with fatigue stuff and wanting to make money anyway I can, end-up with way too much time on FB.

    Ok, very sorry that happened, and was sad to see you go but glad it had nothing to do with me LOL! At least I hope so! I would never un-friend you 🙂

    hugs and your daughter is kick ass cool!

    1. Oh no way, Molly – I’d never unfriend you. The thing that’s a shame about Facebook is that it doesn’t notify your friends when you deactivate your account (like I did) or close your account for good. At least to my knowledge Facebook doesn’t do any of that, and they should because I had a few other people wonder what happened & worry about unfriending etc. I’m so sorry to make you think that even for a second!

      I still don’t miss it at all, which is really surprising given the amount of time I spent on it and thought about it.

      I’m SO SO sorry about what happened with you and that guy in the BP group on Facebook – that’s awful!

      I do eventually plan to return to Facebook next year to promote “Birth of a New Brain”, so you’ll see me back there. I will be much more careful about how I use it! (At least I’ll try reallllly hard.) Thanks for your support & sending you a big hug! Dy

      1. Thanks so much and I hate that feeling though pretty much thought it wouldn’t be true!

        I just read the earlier post this a.m. (about the unfriending person) and seriously, I am now so much more cautious in the ‘level’ of interaction I allow (I’ve done the exact same thing you did, more than just the guy who got seriously abusive, casual connections that become too friendly with people I really did not know… sounds a little like what happened to you) – so I went off ALL groups except a few fun ones (movie fans, need to be on some music groups, I suck at seeking new music) – going off the MHblogs group too as I’m too radical for those folks! lol I have my own page to post on, folks can check that out if they have any interest!

        I’ve been thinking about going through and ‘unfriending’ everyone I don’t know well but decided to leave it as I just want to use it for a ‘public face’ (why I opened it up a year or so ago and let it go more public) and I do have some people that I care about much, that have been a part of Blake’s and my life and the only contact we have with them is via FB now, so don’t want to lose that.

        Plus, when you do your book promos you probably will want a FB page to put up (not sure how great that is for advertising/marketing but I am going that route and I do enjoy putting up things that I find interesting about BP, etc.) and you have to have a personal account to do it. Then you can make it so you don’t even have that ‘friend’ feature on your personal page… that may be a solution. Just have folks be able to follow you, and use your page to post ‘general messages’ – don’t do any private pm’s.

        It will all work out… you need to focus on getting your book done, screw FB!!! 🙂

  2. Kia ora, Dyane. I’ll miss your likes on FB but honestly, you’ve done something very healthy by removing it from your life after identifying it as an issue. Kia kaha!

    1. Thanks for your lovely message! It has been 8 days of being Facebook-free and I loooove being off it. But the day will come that I’ll return to it so I can promote my book & network and all that, but I’ve learned to be much more careful. I’ll only be “friends’ with people I know & trust. Although that doesn’t prevent unpleasantness, does it? Anyway, wishing you the best and thanks again for your kind comment! Kia kaha!

  3. Well SLVNews will miss your “likes” on Facebook; your participation in this experiment in local news and info sharing has been very much appreciated. Facebook and all social media can seem like a dark hole sometimes but it’s people like you that give it value. Unfortunately there are others who, for whatever reason, don’t understand how their words and actions can cause injury.

    1. Thanks Jim! I’ll definitely read all your SLV News Network tweets and stay in touch. You are so kind to have valued my Facebook “likes” – our community is so darn lucky to have you on the lookout for us. If I was filthy rich I’d pay you for your hard work; you certainly deserve it!

      I admit I’m a highly sensitive person. Many of us musicians/writers walk around like exposed nerve endings. (I’m a closet musician who WISHES she had the talent of the Coffis Brothers or your wife!)

      I wish I could have brushed aside those silly unfriendings, but I’m not built that way. At the end of the day, the truth is that the people who blocked me out of their life are mentally ill – they both admitted that fact to me when we had open communication and when they were doing better. Their unfriendning actions aren’t coming from a grounded, healthy place. So knowing that makes the unfriendings easier for me to understand, intellectually, but it still hurts heart-wise.

      It never feels good to be rejected. It helps me to know there are good souls out there like you on the ‘net! I’ll message you when I return to Facebook, as I’ll definitely want to use it as a “platform” to promote my book.

      Take care, dear Jim, & in the meantime, I’ll “see” you on Twitter and someday I’ll even surprise you at a Coffis Brothers gig. 😉

  4. Wow that picture is beautiful and the trailer looks amazing. I think it’s just what I need right now, am going to check if it’s on Netflix.

    Sorry that you’ve had another sucky Facebook day, Facebook can be a bad place when people are mean. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to it. It’s weird at first but soon I remembered what I did before I had it. I miss it sometimes when it feels like the rest of the world is just inviting each other to parties on there but I do NOT miss the disrespectful way in which some people conduct themselves on there or the people you try to connect with who just don’t seem to want to connect back even though they haven’t defriended, or the way you can post the most significant events of your life and no-one even cares or it doesn’t make their newsfeeds because Facebook decides it’s not important enough. And I DEFINITELY don’t miss the time sink it used to be. I much prefer Twitter for social media, where it’s less personal and there’s no pretension of people being friends, they’re more acquaintances which is less confusing for me, and it’s less upsetting if someone unfollows because it’s just the way Twitter works, I can unfollow them back (and maybe swear at the screen a teensy tiny bit) and move on with life.

    1. Thank you for this truly amazing comment!

      I’m telling you, I made the best decision about deactivating my Facebook account, and five days in I don’t miss it at all! I loved your remarks about Twitter, which I’m staying on for now as long as it doesn’t become a major time sucker and/or trigger for negativity. I feel “connected” to the internet through it, which I enjoy, but it’s so much different than Facebook and as you noted: it’s less personal and that’s what I want!

      I hope you get a chance to see the movie “What Dreams May Come” – please let me know what you think – I’d love your take on it! I got it on Netflix too.

      Thanks again for writing; your comment really made me happy and understood during this stressful time. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your encouragement!

      I’ll stay in touch with you via your blog! Have a great day!!!
      Dyane

  5. Dy, you can always reach me directly for support. Facebook feels so much like a time and energy suck. Although, as you know, I was unfriended too, I have no clue why and do not care to try and guess. Onward. You have great, loving, affirming daughters. You are truly blessed to have them.

    1. Dearest bona fide Friend,

      Now I’m really looking at the recent shitstorm as a blessing in disguise, as schmaltzy as that may sound. Now, if YOU unfriended me I’ll be honest – I would be DEVASTATED! But these two people who made that move were ancillary (? that word sounds good, but I’m not sure if that’s the right choice & I’m too lazy to look it up) to my life at the end of the day.

      I think you shared with me how my interacting with them is not healthy for me – I’m not a therapist!!!! I can’t help other people who have serious mental illness unless they are close to me & then I’ll try my best with the resources in this area.

      Thank God, thank God I know I can reach out to you – and you know I have recently more than usual. You bare truly wonderful and make all this other bullshit fade, as do my girls, Craig (when he’s not a baby! 😉 and of course Lucy. And maybe the hamsters.

    1. Being FB-free feels really good! My record is 2 weeks, so this time I hope it’s much much longer, at least all summer.. 😉 Next time I reactivate on Facebook, I think I’m only going to be FB friends with those I knew fairly well and trust, if at all possible.

      Thanks SO much for the retweet, encouragement & love & your comment!! XOXOX

      (At least I can get my internet fix via Twitter & blogs & email, Oh My! :))))

  6. Hmmm… take a vacation here with Paisley and me – bring Lucy of course…. and the hamsters if necessary. I suppose the kidlets can come also. Oh, the husband? Hmm? We can run away to New Zealand because also have an obsession! And… will love you whole heartedly! Fb killed my last relationship and continues to eat away at the universe – my personal belief. Love you …

    1. “FB….continues to eat away at the universe” – that comment just blew me away! I wish I wrote that!!!!

      I’d LOVE to come for a hound dog vacation! The hamsters can go stay at a Hamster Day Care place if they exist. Craig would enjoy a break from me, I’m sure! (17 years with this Drama Queen hasn’t been no picnic!)

      New Zealand actually sounds IDEAL! North Coast sound good? Can we go stalk, I mean visit… my fave musicians The Finn Brothers?

      Gotta start buying my weekly California SuperLotto Plus ticket again to afford it.

      I feel better now that it’s Day #2 sans Facebook – I feel free of the gruesome headlines they like to post on the tracker, I feel free of “compare-itis” syndrome” one encounters on it – hell, I bet I even lost some weight since I deactivated my account! YAY!

      Sending you lovin’ spoonfuls of love as always, my sweet. Thanks for making me smile and for being real and kind.

      1. I’m glad you are feeling better, Friend 🙂 North Coast works for me! I would be happy anywhere but here right now, but NZ has always been a dream! Kisses to all… including the hamsters.

  7. I understand and can relate to this so much! Social media can bring rewards but it can sometimes punish. I have been trying to marginalize social media for that reason. Social websites like Twitter and Facebook can work as emotional wild cards, especially with people who have bipolar disorder and are sensitive to triggers that bring feelings of rejection.

    You have every right to be angry. I would be too, and I can appreciate your need to distance yourself from Facebook! Sometimes when I take social media breaks I am astonished at how clear I feel and how much easier it is to get writing done.

    Thanks for this wonderfully honest post! 🙂 You are awesome!

    1. OH, how I loved this comment of yours, Lisa. You are awesome as well, what more can I say? (Well, I can say a little more…you are AMAZING and 5-star -caliber writer, + soon to be published by a Real Publosher, yippie!!!!!!)

      I feel so much better now that it has been two days since deactivating Facebook, and hopefully that extra time and energy I should now have will translate into more productive writing! Yesterday didn’t go well in that area; I got off my 25 mg of Seroquel on Friday night with my pdoc’s blessing and I might be going through a funky bit of withdrawal. My tummy was off and I was exhausted. But today I hope to get back into the precious writing stride. Send me some of your good writing juju, okay? And thanks again for your support about this unpleasant unfriending business. I’m sooo over it! 😉 XoXoXoXo

  8. Ahhh…one of my all time favorite movies. It’s tragic, and often hard to watch, but visually, is the most beautiful film I’ve ever seen. It is more like an oil painting than a film. The topics are heavy, and poignant, and maybe need a trigger warning for anyone with suicide ideation. But it touches on life and love, and reincarnation, heaven, hell, depression, etc. It is also full of surprises, and hope. And of course, the amazingly talented Robin Williams. ☺ Van

    Good for you on the FB decision. You can always go back. I know many who do !!

    1. “It’s more like an oil painting than a film” is *exactly* how to describe this film, Van. I wonder if you got the chance to watch the behind-the-scenes section on the DVD, as it’s amazing to see how they created the effects.

      I agree about the TW regarding the suicidal scenes…I should have posted that & I need to go back & do it. Excellent suggestion!

      Did you know that the same prolific writer Richard Matheson also wrote the story that inspired “Somewhere In Time”? That’s another one of my favorite films – I know it’s schmaltzy, but hey – it’s a gorgeous film too! (He didn’t write the scripts, but the books behind the concepts.)

      Last year I was forced to go off FB for 2 weeks as we stayed somewhere without a wifi signal. I didn’t have trouble with getting off Facebook, but I missed reading blogs like hell! I also hated not being able to access email. But this time I’m making a conscious choice to de-Facebook, and it’s even easier on day #1. Plus you’re right – I can always go back to it! (I hope to take much longer than 2 weeks off; wish me luck.)

      Take care and thanks from the bottom of my heart for your comment.
      You have a great taste in movies! 🙂
      Hope you have a good week!!

      1. Okay..so, get this. I first saw Somewhere In Time while sitting in the small auditorium where the movie was filmed, The Grand Hotel at Macinac Island !! I was at a state convention in the 1980’s that was held there, and they had 2 showings of the movie every day. The lobby and dining room were the same, but only a few of the rooms had been restored to glory for the film. I thought it was magical !! The best Christopher Reeve movie, for me.
        And yes, I did see the piece on the filming of “What Dreams May Come”. Didn’t know the author connection, so thanks, Dyane. ☺ Van

    2. I finallllly am getting back to you, Van, about your incredible experience of seeing “Somewhere In Time” at The Grand Hotel. I would have LOVED to see it there on the island! That’s truly the memory of a lifetime! “Somewher In Time” is also my favorite Christopher Reeve movie (although I don’t think I’ve seen every single film of his, nor his directorial contributions) Anyway, that’s super-cool. And there’s another connection I thought you’d appreciate – did you know that Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve attended The Juilliard School for dance/drama/music (my father’s alma mater) and I think they were roommates. They became close, lifelong friends….hope this finds you well! Thanks again for sharing such a cool story. 🙂 Dyane

      1. I did know about the roommate connection. When Reeve got hurt, he was the one who could still make him laugh. The story was something about him showing up in surgeon’s gown at his hospital room with a Russian accent ??

        Your dad went to Julliard ?? so cool. Did he stay in the arts ? Nice to chat. Have a great week. ☺ Van

  9. I can’t help but feel rejected when unfollowed also…it feels like such a dumb feeling in the moment, but it’s real! Good for you for taking a FB break…do whatever it takes to look out for your own wellbeing 🙂 As far as the movie goes…i’ve watched it once but can’t remember what it’s about, though it’s on my to-do list to re-watch all of robin williams’ best films 🙂 Take care Dyane!

    1. To read that you too feel affected by those $%&*^((* who have the audacity to unfollow you makes me feel MUCH better, Dr. Vania! 😉 I’m sorry that has happened to you as well. Their loss, their loss!

      Oh, please watch the film “What Dreams May Come”, although as one reader wisely suggested, I need to post a trigger warning since it does touch on suicidal ideation. It’s a seriously underrated film and Robin Williams does an AMAZING job. You may recall he plays a doctor in it! (Not a psychiatrist! 😉 A gp.

      I’d love your take on the movie when you do get a chance to see it again.

      take care and thanks for a lovely comment!
      I’ll be reading & enjoying your latest blog post tonight during my “blog hour”.

      thanks for totally “getting it”, it’s a treat to have you as a reader.
      Dyane

  10. That’s interesting. I also didn’t respond to What Dreams May Come the first time I saw it. I remember almost “checking out” while the movie played. But the second time it hit much harder (and during a deep depression) and now I think it’s amazing. Good for you for getting off FB! It’s good to take care of yourself. 🙂

    1. That’s fascinating to me, Melissa! I’m so sorry you suffered deep depression as well.. I bet you’d appreciate the special effects process the filmmakers invented. If you ever get the chance, watch the behind-the-scenes clip on the DVD about how they created them. Thanks so much for your comment too! It made me feel good. 🙂

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